(Minghui.org) I am a 63-year-old farmer. I started practicing Falun Dafa at the end of spring in 1997. When I recall the past 21 years of my cultivation journey, I find joy, bitterness, perseverance, and, above all, my gratitude beyond expression for Master.

Personal Improvement

Before I began cultivation, I smoked and drank to excess: I went through a pack of cigarettes a day and would drink three times a day in the summer. Things got a little better in the winter, where I would only drink once a day before bed.

I was ill-tempered and often cursed at my wife. If she irritated me at all, I would beat her. When I ate dumplings at home, I demanded that they be hot. Even for only one dish of dumplings, I wanted them boiled a half dish at a time so that they would be hot. My wife had to wait on me and keep cooking dumplings while I ate them. I controlled both her and my children with an iron fist.

Despite my authoritarian rule at home, I was actually quite tired of this earthly world. I always had an idea in the back of my mind to leave home and become a monk after my children grew up. I would seek a great way that might take me away from this sea of bitterness.

An uncle introduced Falun Gong to me in 1996.

“Can this take me out of the cycle of samsara?” I asked.

He replied, “You could achieve consummation with this if you put in the effort.”

“Then I will take it up.”

Just like that, I walked onto the path of Dafa cultivation in 1997.

After I studied the Fa, I lived by the criteria of a practitioner. I learned to be concerned about my wife and share the housework. When she was not in a good mood, she would curse at me and beat me. Once when I was sitting in meditation, she pushed me away, took off my cotton pants, and tore them into pieces. I used the Dafa principles as my guide and kept a calm, kind attitude during all these conflicts.

Not long after I took up Falun Dafa, miracles began to happen to my body. The rheumatism in my legs disappeared as if by magic – my cold legs and achy bones were no more. Even though I wasn't practicing Dafa for health reasons, I was surprised that my health became better anyway.

It's notoriously difficult to quit cigarettes and alcohol, but I quit both in one day once I started cultivating. Dafa is really amazing!

My wife and children all believed that Dafa was good after they witnessed my transformation. Dafa not only changed me, it also brought peace and harmony to our family. My children were really happy.

Showing People How Wonderful Dafa Is

As practitioners, we should validate Dafa, live by its principles in any circumstance, and show people just how wonderful Dafa is.

I am a farmer. During the off-season, I organize a group to do odd jobs for extra income. I am responsible for finding outside contacts for our jobs. One day several years ago, we were given a project to dig up some young trees. We worked very hard and did a great job. The boss was very satisfied.

The boss paid us in cash and counted it once. His assistant counted it again before handing the cash to me. I took it and put it in my pocket without counting it. On our say home, the boss called me and said that he had calculated the payment incorrectly.

I said, “No problem. If you paid too much, I will return the extra to you. Don't worry.”

As soon as I got home, I counted the cash and found that the boss had paid me an extra 900 yuan. I went back by taxi and returned it to him. He was very happy. I told him, “I am a Falun Gong practitioner. My master teaches me to be a good person. If I hadn't practiced Falun Gong, I would not have traveled so far by taxi to return the overpayment.”

The boss was very appreciative. I told him the facts about Falun Dafa and helped him quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. He was happy that he got the money back, and I was happy that he was able to be saved.

Because I am very reliable and work hard, all my bosses have good things to say about me. They all know that I am a Dafa practitioner, so they can relax knowing that I am on the job. For instance, if I take a group of workers on a two-month-long project, the boss never comes to monitor us and just pays whatever I asked for – they know that Falun Gong practitioners work hard, never slack off, and don't ask for extra payment. Although I take the lead in working on projects, I work as hard as the others and get paid the same as everyone else. Even if sometimes the boss gives me several hundred yuan as a tip, I've never kept it for myself.

When I was arrested several times and detained in forced labor camps, my contract land was confiscated by the village government. As a result, my family lost their main source of income, so our only income now comes from my part-time jobs. Money became really tight.

But as a Dafa practitioner, I still always behave according to the Dafa principles so that any person or place that might have a predestined relationship with Dafa can see how wonderful the practice is.

Validating the Fa at Home

My mother-in-law is in her 80s now. She has many children, but no one wants to support her. One time due to some misunderstandings, she slapped me in the face. I burst into tears at the time, not in pain but in anger. But I ignored what happened between us and decided to have her come live with us. My wife hesitated at first because our financial situation was not good, but we couldn't leave her alone when no one else wanted to take care of her.

We've taken care of her for several years now and have never asked her other children to help support her.

It's a Chinese tradition to respect the elderly and care for the young. My own mother had passed away at the age of 92. I took good care of her when she was alive. I washed her clothes and underwear for her in her final days. Now I was doing the same for my mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law had an eye disease, so we considered surgery for her. We invited her children over and discussed it, but they argued that, because she was getting old, the surgery might not be successful. They left after expressing their opinions and were not interested in hearing any more about it.

Trying to make the best of the situation, I purchased eyedrops for her and hoped that she would recover soon. However, she told people that the eyedrops I gave her made her blind. I felt wronged and slighted that she would say such a thing. I thought, “I've treated you so well. How could you say such things?

I shared my consternation with her with fellow practitioners and looked inside. I finally figured out that it was my selfishness. Although I seemed to be treating my mother-in-law the same as I'd treated my own mother, in my heart I saw them differently. I thought, “My mother-in-law is my mother-in-law while my mother was my mother.” This difference was a manifestation of sentimentality as well as selfishness, and selfishness is associated with the principles of the old cosmos. I hadn't completely eradicated my selfishness at its root. But there was no reason to keep it, so I decided to let it go.

As I improved in cultivation, my mother-in-law also changed. She would give a thumbs-up and brag to whoever she met, “My son-in-law treats me even better than my own daughter treats me.”

I practice the exercises and send forth righteous thoughts every day. Influenced by my behavior, my mother-in-law also conjoins her hands and says, “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”

My neighbors have all witnessed how I treat my mother-in-law, as have my relatives. They have all experienced, firsthand, the moral quality of a Dafa practitioner. My wife's younger brother-in-law said to me, “You are really amazing! I wouldn't take care of her even if you paid me!”

But how could he understand the actions of a Dafa practitioner? In this era when moral standards are declining, only Dafa, like a clear current, is cleansing away the dust on practitioners and improving their realms. Dafa's profound principles, a ladder leading to heaven, are guiding us back to tradition, rectifying and elevating us until we reach the level that Dafa requires of us.

In the past 21 years of cultivation, I have experienced the joy of obtaining the Fa, the loneliness when I was misunderstood, tears and bitterness when I encountered wind and rain, and Master's compassion and protection when I encountered danger and tribulations.

I am so lucky to be able to practice Dafa and become a Dafa disciple who can assist Master in Fa-rectification. I am so honored to be bathed in the Buddha's grace!

No matter how long the journey ahead, as a Dafa practitioner, I must follow Master to cultivate myself well, validate the wonder of Dafa, save sentient beings, honor my prehistoric vows, achieve consummation and, finally, return home!

Above are just a few experiences from my cultivation path! Thank you, Master!